Potato Cultivation:: Tuber Rot and Other Problems Tubers Failed to Germinate

In this post entitled “Potato Cultivation:: Tuber Rot and Other Problems Tubers Failed to Germinate”, the following objectives have been described:

  1. To know about potato tuber rot in field (rotting after sowing).
  2. Possible causes of tuber rot.
  3. Precautions against potato tuber rot (before sowing).


1.Introduction: Tuber and Tuber Rotting
2.Cultivation Practice and Problems
3.Explanation of Post Related Words
4.Frequently Asked Questions

1. Introduction: Tuber and Tuber Rotting

Tuber: Potato is a tuber crop. It develops under soil surface. Tubers are main object in potato cultivation. Another method is use of potato seed which is sexually produced by potato plant itself.

Tubers are infected and affected by different living and non-living factors. In many cases affected tubers are unable to germinate after sowing. The problem of rotting of tuber is a big loss in commercial cultivation of potato crop. Insects, Bacteria and other microorganisms are living agents while rain, excessive soil moisture etc., are non-living factors.

2. Cultivation Practice and Problems

2.1 Part 01 & 02: General Cultivation Practice

2.1.1 Required Materials

  • Land.
  • Potato Tuber.
  • FYM/Vermicompost.
  • Fertilizer.
  • Other Chemicals.
  • Farm Machineries. Land: Land selection is very important. Soil should free of pieces of rock and gravels. Potato Tubers: Potato tubers are seeding material. Seeding tubers used for cultivation are different from the tubers used as vegetable. FYM/Vermicompost: Farm Yard Manure in soil is used as organic matter. Vermicompost is a very good option in place of FYM. Fertilizers: Fertilizers are inorganic source of plant nutrients. Phosphorus and potash rich fertilizers should be applied. Other Chemicals:

  • Weedicides.
  • Insecticides.
  • Fungicides.

Farm Machineries: Tractor for ploughing selected land.

2.1.2 Method of Cultivation and Problem related of Tuber Rotting Climate Climate for general cultivation

It is a cold season crop. Planting can be started once rainy season is over. It can be grown well in 10℃ – 19 ℃ temperature. Frost can damage standing soft and little plants. Role of Climate in Tuber Rotting

Weather plays important role in failure or success of planted tubers. Weather may affect the planted tubers in following ways:

  • Cloudy weather: Main problem arise when clouds appear after plantation and irrigation and persist for 4-5 days. In this situation tubers start to rot under saturated furrows.
  • Rain: Raining at regular intervals just after planting tubers is a cause of rotting of tubers. Persistent heavy rain can trigger early blight which is a disaster to standing crop. Passing showers doesn’t affect the planted tubers. Soil and Soil Preparation Soil and soil preparation in general cultivation

Soil testing before cultivation should be done for clorine. It affect tuber quality. Light soil is very good for the development of tuber. Soil PH is another important thing which should be maintained between 4 and 5.

Soil preparation starts with the ploughing of field. Large clots of soil should be broken into small pieces. Height of row should be 20 – 30 cm. Width should be 20 cm. Weeds are removed before sowing. Role of Soil and Soil Preparation in Tuber Rot Hardness of soil: Soil which becomes hard just few days after irrigation, act as a barrier. Recently germinated small and week plants are unable to break this barrier. Soil water holding capacity: Soil with great water holding capacity can become a cause of tuber rot. Excess amount of soil moisture for a long period is harmful for tuber which is still to germinate. Potato cultivation in low land is not recommended. For example- Rice is cultivated in low land. Low lands have high water retention capacity. In low lands, thin water streams are present. Cultivation of potato in these low land face problem of tuber rotting.

Slope of field is very important. Entire field should be even. Sharp slope in one direction will cause these problems-

  1. Much amount of irrigated water will store toward one end of field.
  2. Much amount of rain water will store toward one end of field. Manure and Fertilizers Organic Manure

Apply 20- 25 tons of FYM per hectare or vermicompost. Fertilizers

Use DAP for potato cultivation. It is recommended. Roll of manure in germination

Attack of termite can be seen in germinating tubers if well rotted FYM is not used as manure. Termite can attack the crops of a whole field. Sowing General Practice in Sowing

  • Time of sowing: Best time of sowing is winter season. It is late of October to start of november.
  • Depth of sowing: It should be sown 5 – 6 cm below the soil surface. Large tubers can be sown in more depth than small pieces.
  • Seed rate: Seed rate is 2.5 to 3 ton per hectare. Role of Sowing in Tuber Rot Time of sowing: Sowing at proper time is very necessary. Sowing during rain is harmful. There is 100% chance of rotting. Depth of sowing: Small tubers should not be down in more depth. They germinate but fail to reach out over soil surface. Method of planting: Placing the germinated portion toward earth surface during sowing makes it difficult to germinate and grow again. Irrigation

Irrigation in general cultivation Time of irrigation

Irrigation after sowing: Irrigation should be given after 2 – 3 days after sowing. Irrigation should be given after one week of sowing if excess moisture is available.

Irrigation during cultivation: Three irrigation after first irrigation is required during entire life cycle of the crop. Total 3/4 height of row should be irrigated. Irrigation technique

Flood irritation: Requires more amount of water.

Drip irrigation: Excellent with long rows.

Role of irrigation in tuber rot

Time of irrigation: Irrigation right after sowing of tuber is a reason of tuber rot if moisture is available in soil. More than 20 percent tubers may rot.

Technique of irrigation: Uncontrolled flood irrigation creates unfavourable condition for tubers. Use drip irrigation system to check tuber rot.

Amount of irrigation: Excessive irrigation is harmful. Crop Management

Disease: Fungus attack causes rotting of tubers. It starts from field. The disease rest in warehouse inside tubers. From warehouse it spreads in field and rotting starts after sowing.

Tuber should be treated with fungicides

Insect: Potato tuber moth is also a cause of tuber rot. It infects tubers in warehouses.

Use Post Harvest treatment methods.

3. Explanation of Post Related Words

FYM: Farm Yard Manure is prepared from cowdung and other agricultural wastes.

Vermicompost: Vermicompost is prepared from earth worm using agricultural wastes. It also includes use of cowdung.

4. Frequently Asked Questions

Question 01. Which fungus is cause of tuber rot?

Answer: It is Phytophthora infestans.

Question 02. Is nitrogen rich fertilizer causes tuber rot?

Answer: No, it causes other pest problems like. Growth of vegetative part is more than the tuber.

Question 03. How to check tuber rot in low lands?

Answer: Amount and number of irrigation should be controlled. It should be based on calculation. And also treat the tuber with fungicide.

5. Images



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1 year ago

Hello my name is Alexa. I have a few questions about my compost in dealing with potatoes. I have a very small compost that I regularly use. It’s about 20/30 gallons (a small square) I put potatoes in the compost (un-chopped) now I know to chop them. The potatoes ended up growing. Meanwhile at this time, I was unable to take care of my compost all summer due to some personal issues and I wasn’t home to take care of it. I recently went back and aerated my compost and found what looked to be the potatoes rotted, foul smelling,… Read more »

1 year ago
Reply to  Alexa

Hello Alexa..

Thanks for your question.

My answer is short.

Don’t use this compost again for the growing of new potato plant. Although, it is a seed borne disease, but the same compost will affect new plants.

You can use it for the plants of other species.